Creating a Paperless Office
by Lee Wyatt
(last updated September 16, 2014)
Are you getting tired of looking around your office and seeing nothing but stacks of papers, over flowing filing cabinets, and lost invoices? If so there is something that you can do to help create order out of the chaos. All you need to do is go paperless. Creating a paperless office, while a somewhat protracted process, isn't that difficult. All you need to do is use some creativity, show a little perseverance, and follow these guidelines.
- It takes time. Before you start creating a paperless office, you need to first understand that it is a process. As a process it is something that will take time. It is not something that you can do in a single day. Depending on the size of your office, and how much time you devote to it, this is a project that can take up to a month or more. Due to this, start with small steps, and accomplish one part of the overall project before you move onto the next one.
- Use PDF's when possible. When you receive any mail, invoices, bills, or other paper items that need to be saved, then scan it into a PDF file. These files will keep a digital copy of the original, eliminating the need for a paper copy for your files, and allow you to print another out if you find it necessary. It is best to convert mail in to PDF as soon as it comes in, and work your way back through your files as you can.
- Dump the fax. There are services online that you can use to send and receive faxes. This will eliminate the need for you to print out items, only to be stored again as a PDF. In addition, these services allow you to send and receive the fax directly from your computer, thus increasing your overall efficiency.
- Bill online. If you make or receive any payments (as most businesses do) then why not do as much of the work online as you possibly can? This process saves you the time of having to run to the bank, as well as can help speed up your billing process, help prevent lost bills, and so on.
- Back up everything. Whenever you begin going paperless, you need to be sure that you back everything up. If at all possible, you should back up everything on a daily basis. Use items like external hard drives, CDs, DVDs, or some other process to back your data up. This is important simply because it will help you avoid losing all your data in the event that something unfortunate happens.
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